Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Christmas at Dollywood & finally riding Lightning Rod!
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:17 am

Amen to that! Only parks I'd rather be at are Disneyland or Cedar Point.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:54 pm

Kennywood

I'm at the airport and have some time to burn so I'm going to try something ambitious, a trip report from my phone. After leaving Idlewild, I got to Kennywood around 5. The parking lot was relatively empty, which I figured would be great for lines. And it was! The downside was the park realized it too and planned to close a half hour early. 4.5 hours was plenty of time to get the rides in, but I wasn't able to time a night ride on Phantom since Kennywood closes their queues early, something I ran into back in 2011.

Park Sign.JPG
Follow the sign carefully. Failure to do so leads to an interesting looking neighborhood to put it mildly.

Kenny's Parkway.JPG
Lake Compounce take note. Kennywood isn't closing their sky ride.

Kennywood is one of my favorite parks. I'm a sucker for classic theme parks that aren't afraid to keep up with modern times and that perfectly describes Kennywood. They have the old wooden coaster and flat ride collection you'd expect from a park nestled in the middle of a neighborhood, but there's something weird and awesome seeing an epic hyper towering over the decrepit buildings around the park.

Park Entrance (2017).JPG
The entrance reminds me a lot of Lake Compounce with the underground tunnel by the entrance.

I planned to hit Phantom first, but saw Sky Rocket had absolutely no line so I couldn't pass that up. While it's not as intense as the Sky Rocket II's, I prefer the expanded and unique layout. The ride is glass smooth and has a great first 2/3. The launch isn't super powerful but it's fun. The top hat gives great airtime and the weird holding brake results in abrupt air in the back. The first zero-G roll gives marvelous hangtime thanks to the lapbar only trains. The drop off the brake run gives fantastic ejector air in the back and the second zero-G roll is as good as the first.

The ride then just dies. It's like the Falcons in the Super Bowl (totally not biased :lmao: but I think that's the best Super Bowl ever). After the second zero-G roll, the ride crawls through a slow trick track section and two final hills so drawn out that they give no air. If the ride kept up the first 2/3, Sky Rocket would easily be a 9 or 10. Also why do the back rows on Sky Rocket have way less space than the other rows or the back rows on the other Sky Rocket II's? I loved the back but found the fit very tight. 8 out of 10

Sky Rocket Sign.JPG
Kennywood's newest coaster, but that may change in the next year or two based on the rumors.

Sky Rocket Top Hat (Back, Close).JPG
The top hat gives some seriously good air.

Sky Rocket Zero-G Roll.JPG
Inversions are so much better with just a lap bar.

Sky Rocket Brake Run.JPG
Sky Rocket is amazing until the last third when it pretty much does nothing in its return to the station.

Sky Rocket could only distract me so long. It was time for Phantom's Revenge! I only got one ride on it in an abridged visit last year so I was hoping to marathon it. Unfortunately I quickly found out the park pulled a Boulder Dash and was only running one train. I regretfully skipped the very front since it had double the wait of other rows, but I waited about 20 minutes for each of my 3 rides (2 in the 2nd row, 1 in the back). One of my favorite things about Phantom is the restraints. There's a seatbelt and a lap bar like most hypers, but because of how the weird lap bars come from the side, there's an inch or two gap between you and the bar.

That meant airtime heaven. The first drop gives good laterals and builds good speed. The second drop is legendary. The view of the factory over the ravine is quite imposing and that tiny little passage below the Thunderbolt looks too small to fit a coaster train. This drop gives a great pop of ejector air in the back and goes on for what seems like forever. The following overbank is fast and forceful and that's followed by the finale. Yes Phantom's Revenge is short. But the finale consists of 5 or so insane pops of ejector air. I forget if there's a double up, double down, or both but the main takeaway is that there's no way your butt will be on that seat.

I remember Phantom being a great coaster, but it absolutely blew me away this visit and it shot into my top 5. I preferred the front due to the stronger air during the finale but the back is great too thanks to that 2nd drop. I would love to get a ride on this in total darkness someday, but my last ride was around sunset. I got off only to find the line closed off. 10 out of 10

Phantom's Revenge Sign.JPG
Phantom's Revenge was better than I remembered. It's a top 5 coaster for me.

Phantom's Revenge First Drop.JPG
The first drop looks fantastic from the parking lot.

Phantom's Revenge 2nd Hill 3.JPG
The ride's famous second drop is as good as advertised. Great air and what a view.

Phantom's Revenge Turnaround.JPG
Note the transition from Arrow to Morgan restraints.

Phantom's Revenge Straightaway.JPG
Y'all ready for airtime?

Phantom's Revenge Airtime Hill 2.JPG
Just look at that hair! That's some serious airtime.

Phantom's Revenge Airtime Hill 1.JPG
It's short but there's never a dull moment.

Turtle.JPG
The Phantom's layout surrounds the park's classic Turtle.

Thunderbolt is my favorite of the three woodies. Like most rides at Kennywood it's unconventional. Unfortunately the ride did add seat-belts this year which took away some of the air, but the drops into the ravine all still did provide decent air. Then again, airtime isn't Thunderbolt's primary goal. It's all about sitting next to someone and being forced against your will into the side of the train with those laterals. 8 out of 10

I also had the most Kennywood of rides on Thunderbolt at the end of the day. When Phantom closed early, I decided to finish on the classic woodie. As I hinted at the beginning, Kennywood isn't in the nicest of neighborhoods and that's putting it mildly. For those familiar with Thunderbolt, you know it has a separate load and unload area. After the incoming train unloaded, an army of 13 teens (seems too specific to be true but I counted, more on that later) hurdled over the queue and filled up half the train. The staff turned their eye at the stampede but the ride was empty so they didn't end up cutting anyone. Being a single rider, I had to wait for a partner to ride. When I noticed an odd number enter the train, I knew someone needed a partner. I made a new friend. And for those who remember my Clementon report, you know I have bad luck with new friends.

The ride started as usual with the great drop out of the station. Then I was treated to the most violent ride of my life. Not bumpy but in this case I started witnessing a WWE wrestling melee between them. Pushing, slapping, choking using doo rags- I got everything. Meanwhile I threw my hands in the air pre-emptively in case the police were at the exit and becasue it's the right way to ride a coaster. Since a winner wasn't crowned in round 1, the ops (who either didn't care or didn't notice) started round 2 since we were the last train of the night. More of the same. Thank god they left me out of it. I don't think I'll ever witness anything like that again.

Thunderbolt Last Turn.JPG
Kennywood's best coasters all use the ravine to perfection.

Thunderbolt Helix Section.JPG
See the lack of banking? This is your chance to get revenge on someone with powerful laterals.

Thunderbolt Drop.JPG
Gotta love those classic trains.

Jack Rabbit is a one trick pony (or is it rabbit in this case), but it's a great trick. I got a seat in the back car and that double down gave airtime stronger than Phantom's Revenge and the restraints are even more minimalistic. The rest of the ride is smooth and uses the ravine well but the double down is the whole ride. Much like how Mike Trout is the entire Angels team. 8 out of 10

Jack Rabbit Turnaround 2.JPG
It looks so cute but the double down is intense. Unbelievable how much air it contains.

Racer is often considered the worst of Kennywood's woodies but it's still a really good coaster. I was fortunate to get the back seat in the pick-a-seat free-for-all since a few of the drops give nice air in the back. The racing is a lot of fun and unlike a lot of other coasters, it genuinely seemed like a 50-50 which side would win. Like the other two woodies, Racer runs perfectly smooth too. For what it's worth, my side won. 8 out of 10

Racer Lift Hill.JPG
And they're off!

Racer Turnaround.JPG
Are you ready to slap hands?

Racer Drop.JPG
3 or so of the drops gave fantastic air in the back.

I wasn't planning on hitting Exterminator since that line was one of the slowest and worst I had ever been in. I didn't want to burn an hour on a day with limited time in that queue, but I checked in an hour before closing and lucked out. I only had to wait 15 minutes in the sweaty, overheated scream box of a queue. The ride itself has decent theming (just a step above Dark Knight) but the most critical thing is the darkness and narrow passageways really enhance the spinning. 7 out of 10

Exterminator Entrance.JPG
The queue was surprisingly short so I was able to ride the spinner in a box.

Exterminator Station.JPG
The darkness really enhances the spinning.

Time for the kiddie coaster portion of this report. Yes I rode Lil Phantom and of course I was the only adult on the train. It was pretty poor even by kiddie coaster standards. 1 out of 10

Lil' Phantom.JPG
What a cute little phantom.

Kennywood has some fantastic flats. The one I was most looking forward to riding was Black Widow. I've never tried one of the Zamperla giant discoveries and was interested to see how they compared to Huss giant frisbees. While waiting for Phantom, I saw the ride was testing. The ride certainly looks impressive and appeared to have a super long cycle. When I went over to the ride, the employee removed the "Closed" sign so I felt lucky. I could only dream of that happening in my last visit to Dollywood. Well before we could board we were told to leave the queue and the ride didn't reopen or test the rest of the night. Bummer but maybe SFNE or SFGAdv will get one of these in the near future.

Black Widow Full Swing 1.JPG
Black Widow looked awesome. I say looked because...

Black Widow Entrance.JPG
Crap. Guess the spider being on a ride is a universal sign a ride will close and not just a SFNE thing.

Of the flats, I rode SwingShot, Kangaroo, and the Whip. SwingShot is still my favorite Screamin' Swing. For whatever reason the air seems stronger on this one. Speaking of air, the unqiue Kangaroo ride gives exactly that in bunches and also makes that quirky sound every time a vehicle jumps. The Whip is about as well run as any whip other than Rye Playland's (that one is run sadistically fast so you crush your partner).

SwingShot Full Swing (Sunset).JPG
My favorite screamin' swing.

Kangaroo Overview.JPG
If you like airtime, this is the ride for you.

Kangaroo Car 1.JPG
Boing, boing, kangaroo!

Bayern Kurve (Day).JPG
Skipped it this visit. Still looks as fast as ever, but I remember it being bumpy.

Wave Swinger.JPG
Lost Kennywood really comes alive at night.

The park also has a great trifecta of water rides. I skipped the Raging Rapids and Pittsburg Plunge since I preferred not to be soaked to the bone. I did ride Log Jammer and it's still an above average flume. The final drop is pretty decent, but it's the first drop and the subsequent uphill section that's the real star. I've heard one rumor this ride could be removed for Kennywood's new coaster and I hope that's not true.

Log Jammer Drop.JPG
The last drop may be taller, but it's the first one that's better.

Log Jammer Splashdown.JPG
Splash.

Pittsburg Plunge Splash.JPG
Bigger splash.

Kennywood also has 2 great dark rides in Noah's Ark and Ghostwood Estate. For those keeping score, I know Kennywood has 3 dark rides. The third one doesn't qualify as great nor average or even mediocre. Garfield is an embarassment of a ride that should be gutted. Noah's Ark is a rare, quirky walkthrough that I somehow forgot to take a picture of. Ghostwood Estate may look like your typical Sally shooter from the outside, but it has a Haunted Mansion-esque pre-show and the ride has detailed figures that react with each target. Much better than the cardboard targets on many of their other rides.

Ghostwood Estate Entrance.JPG
Two thumbs way up. Much better targets than your average shooter.

Garfield's Nightmare.JPG
Two thumbs way down or two middle fingers way up. Either work in this case.

Even in a half day I was able to hit pretty much everything I wanted aside from the closed Black Widow. Phantom alone makes Kennywood worth visiting, so when you add in the classic woodies, a good launched coaster, great flats, solid water rides, and cool dark rides, you have a truly special park.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby CaptainUnknown » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:16 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Being a single rider, I had to wait for a partner to ride. When I noticed an odd number enter the train, I knew someone needed a partner. I made a new friend. And for those who remember my Clementon report, you know I have bad luck with new friends.

The ride started as usual with the great drop out of the station. Then I was treated to the most violent ride of my life. Not bumpy but in this case I started witnessing a WWE wrestling melee between them. Pushing, slapping, choking using doo rags- I got everything. Meanwhile I threw my hands in the air pre-emptively in case the police were at the exit and becasue it's the right way to ride a coaster. Since a winner wasn't crowned in round 1, the ops (who either didn't care or didn't notice) started round 2 since we were the last train of the night. More of the same. Thank god they left me out of it. I don't think I'll ever witness anything like that again.


I don't know what sounds worse: those teens, or coasterbill's MagnumCreep.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Taylor Finn » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:50 am

Great TR at my home park. I agree completely about Garfield's Nightmare. The ride needs a re-theme.Something less trippy. The best fun is forcing all your weight to one side of the boat and essentially stopping. I remember back in middle school, I had the last boat of the day with my friends and we came to a halt with a few empty boats getting stuck behind us. It's really impressive how it is all gravity driven with the small little lift at the beginning of the ride. Also, I really hope they don't remove the Log Jammer. I dunno, I'm not sure a huge new woodie will fit in with the rest of the park, but I guess we'll see.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:19 am

But if you try and stop the boat, you'd get stuck in hell longer.

The ride system is definitely cool. They just need anything but Garfield. Lake Compounce removed the Garfield IP from their kids section a few years ago so maybe the day is coming when Garfield leaves the Old Mill too.

CaptainUnknown wrote:I don't know what sounds worse: those teens, or coasterbill's MagnumCreep.


I'll go with those teens. Magnumcreep was definitely creepy but at least he wasn't violent. I've seen crazy enthusiasts before, but this is the first I've seen a brawl like that on a ride.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby boldikus » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:12 am

Great update! Loved all your pictures from this one!

One of my biggest coaster related regrets is not spending more time @ Kennywood. We only stopped for an afternoon on the way to Cedar Point and managed a handful of flats (Paratrooper, Garfield, Bayern Kurve <3) and most of the coasters (all but Exterminator). We all loved it (except for those foul Potato Patch fries) and I hope to get back there sooner rather than later. Phantom is amazing, especially up front. Loved Jack Rabbit and Sky Rocket also (tho you're absolutely right about the last 1/3 of it). I need to go back and do more of the flats and hit those coasters once again. The missus has family in Pittsburgh and we often talk about going out there for a visit... eventually. lol

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Geauga Dog » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:24 am

Thanks for the TR. Doesn't surprise me that Phantom was only running one train. Maybe the crowds weren't big enough to warrant two on your visit but it's always been one of my pet peeves with the operations of the coaster that they'll start the day with one train and then later on add the second train knowing well enough that it's the park's signature and most popular attraction.

I am surprised, though, that Garfield has lasted as long as it has. I thought they were planning on redoing the Old Mill a few years ago.

I'd love to see what Kennywood looks like lit up at night as well as ride Phantom in the dark but with the neighborhood a bit on the sketchy side and a 2.5 hour drive home at night just doesn't sound appealing to me.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:36 pm

boldikus wrote:Great update! Loved all your pictures from this one!

One of my biggest coaster related regrets is not spending more time @ Kennywood. We only stopped for an afternoon on the way to Cedar Point and managed a handful of flats (Paratrooper, Garfield, Bayern Kurve <3) and most of the coasters (all but Exterminator). We all loved it (except for those foul Potato Patch fries) and I hope to get back there sooner rather than later. Phantom is amazing, especially up front. Loved Jack Rabbit and Sky Rocket also (tho you're absolutely right about the last 1/3 of it). I need to go back and do more of the flats and hit those coasters once again. The missus has family in Pittsburgh and we often talk about going out there for a visit... eventually. lol


I do like the Potato Patch fries if they are plain but think they are overrated. Knoebels has better fries. Kennywood definitely needs a full day the first time. I had that luxury my first time there and needed it to get on all the different rides since their lineup is so strong and diverse.

Geauga Dog wrote:Thanks for the TR. Doesn't surprise me that Phantom was only running one train. Maybe the crowds weren't big enough to warrant two on your visit but it's always been one of my pet peeves with the operations of the coaster that they'll start the day with one train and then later on add the second train knowing well enough that it's the park's signature and most popular attraction.

I am surprised, though, that Garfield has lasted as long as it has. I thought they were planning on redoing the Old Mill a few years ago.

I'd love to see what Kennywood looks like lit up at night as well as ride Phantom in the dark but with the neighborhood a bit on the sketchy side and a 2.5 hour drive home at night just doesn't sound appealing to me.


I feel fine once I am in my car. I made a pit stop at a nearby Primanti's since I had never been but was advised by a friend to not be there at night after the fact. The sandwich was worth it though.

At least they will add two trains when it becomes necessary. Lake Compounce is firmly sticking to one train on Boulder Dash even if the line fills the queue. Honestly the line just slowed rerides but 20 min was still not too bad of a wait for a park's signature ride.
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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby prozach626 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:10 pm

Great reports. Your Kennywood TR made me want to go even more! Looked like you packed a lot of fun into four and a half hours.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:30 pm

You can definitely hit all the coasters in 4.5 hours, but you have to start skipping some of the other rides. Kennywood has too many unique things to be rushed for a first timer.
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